|Last updated: 6/16/2002; 10:21:41 AM|
Marketing 101. Consulting 101. PHP Consulting. Random geeky stuff. I Blog Therefore I Am.Making a Difficult Decision: When You Decide to NOT Ship
Tomorrow, June 1st, myself and a partner, were supposed to announce a new product for bloggers. This is the first real product I've released in a couple of years and I just had to make a difficult decision: To Wait. I'm going to give you some background info (feel free to skip over it, this is a blog, not an advertisement, that's the reason why pricing info is omitted).
Here's the product, Blog.name, it's a permalink aware DNS service for weblogs. You normally come to my blog with
That's kind of long. It also ties you permanently to a vendor – and that's just plain wrong. Don't get confused now, don't flame me, I love UserLand, but people need the ability to control their blog. And domain names do translate into control. Blog.name gives you this in spades. My blog is now available with:
- http://www.fuzzyblog.com/ i.e. a top level domain
- http://scott.blogs.at/ i.e. a sub domain off the master ".blogs.at" domain
Now, here's that magic that we really bring to the table, permalink aware DNS. All of these urls work:
The Difficult Decision
So here's the difficult decision: You ship when it's right for the customer, not when it's right for you. Yes this works and it works well. Not only are we using it ourselves but we also have beta users that are happy. And we're not only very happy but also going to charge for it (not a lot, but this is valuable and we have servers in a data center to pay for, cats to feed and so on). So, we really have a bunch of incentives to ship. Why wouldn't we? Well, here's the embarassing thing: two nights ago we had a blip on our server. Not huge but we did go down for a bit and that's just bad. DNS needs to be rock solid reliable. So, if you go by the doing the right thing for the customer mantra, then we need to wait a bit (probably a week or two), do some additional stress testing, increase our 24x7 monitoring capabilitiy and then ship. And thats what we're going to do.
Ship When it's Right for the Customer!
(I wish more companies did this)
Watch this space if you're interested in signing up or mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let you know when it's available.
Want to try this out, here are the beta users:
- Ray Hunter - http://ray.blogs.at/
- Guy Haas - http://guy.blogs.at/
- Russ Lipton - http://lipton.blogs.at/
Please not that out of respect for people, we're not taking the dot com approach and mass creating accounts. You won't catch us making it look like lots of people have purchased when they haven't. We asked each of these people before hand (actually, one exception – one person got it as a belated birthday present).
If You're Running and Open Source Project and Blogging It's Status
Now, here's our pitch to anyone running an open source project and using a blog to communicate with the world about it – we'll sign you up for free. That's our give back to the community as a whole. Email email@example.com.
Reserving Your X.blogs.at Name
If you really, really want this and want to make sure that yourname.blogs.at won't get sold to someone else (a remote but possible thing) then feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with "yourname.blogs.at" in the subject line and we'll treat that as a first come, first served reservation. When we feel comfortable (one to two weeks, currently two) then we'll email you instructions.
If You Make Blogging Tools and Need or Want Money
Let's say you're Evan of Blogger or Mena of Movable Type or Dave of UserLand or anyone making a blogging tool, we'd like to partner with you. If you email email@example.com, we'll send you information on our partnering program. Basically you can cross link to us with a ?partner=YourName param and if your customer signs up with us, we'll cut you 25% on the transaction from now until September 1st. Don't trust us? We can make log files available. Checks mailed monthly.
NOTE: I know lots of these tools are open source, non-profit, labors of love. That's wonderful and we respect you for this but if you need to cover bandwidth, server hardware, etc., perhaps this will help. It might just cover pizza – but is that bad?
Our new company, Blog.at, is focusing on value added services for bloggers. Think of us as the "Norton Utilities for Bloggers". Rather than get into the Blogger versus Radio versus Movable Type versus X debate, we're building cross platform tools and web services that enhance your overall blogging experience. Some will be free, others for pay. All of them will be high quality, high integrity things. Stay tuned. firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get put on the text only, no spam, no crazy HTML, no crazy graphics newsletter / announcement list.
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